Alexei Navalny reaches Russia; allies arrested at Vnukovo airport

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Jan 17, 2021, 08.04 PM(IST)

Alexei Navalny returns to Russia Photograph:( AFP )

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Meanwhile, he has been warned that he faces the danger of imminent arrest upon his arrival in Moscow after he was put on a national wanted list

The Kremlin critic  Alexei Navalny has reached back to his home country, Russia, months after recovering from a poisoning attack carried out on him — allegedly by Kremlin.

Navalny had been in Germany for the past five months after he was flown there for treatment against a Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

Also read| Kremlin critic Navalny faces arrest as he flies back to Russia

He chose to fly a budget airline Pobeda from Berlin's BER airport at 1417 GMT, which was scheduled to land at Moscow's Vnukovo airport around 7:20 pm (1620 GMT) on Sunday. His wife, Yulia, is also accompanying him. However, his flight was diverted to the Sheremetyevo airport within a few hours of take-off.

Meanwhile, he has been warned that the 44-year-old Kremlin critic faces the danger of imminent arrest upon his arrival in Moscow after he was put on a national wanted list.

Also read| Germany provides manuscripts of Navalny's interviews to Russia

Navalny has been named in the wanted list because Russia's prison service accuses him of not reporting to them at the end of last year in connection with a suspended sentence for embezzlement which he was serving out.

He has, however, shrugged the possibility of arrest saying, "They will arrest me? That's impossible, I'm an innocent person."

"I feel I am a citizen of Russia who has the full right to return to his home," he added.

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A Facebook event page has also been created in which nearly 2,000 people have expressed interest in greeting Navalny upon his return despite temperatures in Moscow hovering around -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit).

He has left Berlin a day after the German government transmitted transcripts of interviews the German authorities conducted with Navalny after he was evacuated to Berlin in late August.

While the Russian government denies all accusations, several western international groups, including experts from Germany, conducted their own investigations and concluded he was poisoned by a nerve agent Novichok.

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